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  • Writer's pictureBenton

Next Match – Louisville City vs Orange County SC – 06/18/2022

It was a bit fortuitous that Louisville City would get a bye week after a disappointing match in St. Petersburg. An extra week for Coach Danny Cruz and the gang to work out some of the team’s opportunities. Thankfully for the squad, the next match is a home fixture. It will be against the defending champs, Orange County SC. A first-time meeting between these clubs.

Orange County’s title defense hasn’t been going as they may have hoped. In fact, it’s been terrible. They are (as of this writing) 12th in the West and FiveThirtyEight is only giving them a 38% chance to make the post-season. This matchup was much scarier when the 2022 schedules first came out. OC is quite average in many major categories, including goals per match (13th), goals conceded per match (17th), shots on target per match (15th), and possession (16th). When looking at points per game and expected points per game, there is a case that they have been a bit “unlucky”. However, it is becoming increasingly clear they are probably not going to be in the mix for the 2022 finals.

While their performances have been “average” at best, they do have a few standout performers on the squad, including Milan Iloski, Erick Torres, and Daniel Pedersen. Iloski spent the previous two seasons in the RSL system. With OC, he has scored a team-high seven goals, 3.5 shots per 90, and a player rating of 7.47. Torres adds a TON of experience to this OC side. He has played for several Liga MX and MLS sides earning 54 and 85 starts in each league, respectively. He has scored six goals (2nd on the squad) and has a player rating of 7.16 (also 2nd). And finally, there is Pedersen. Pedersen played several years in his home country of Denmark as well as some time in Norway before coming to the USL this season. He doesn’t have the same goal tally as the other two (only one so far), but he does have 17 chances created (1st), four big chances (1st), and two assists (2nd).

FiveThirtyEight has Louisville slated as the favorite with a 51% chance to win compared to OC’s 24%. Between LouCity’s week of rest and prep, home-field advantage, the travel OC will endure, as well as OC’s struggles this season, a Louisville advantage sounds about right despite some of the shaky recent performances. Kyle Morton will probably be out for precautionary reasons, however, LouCity will have Josh Wynder back. There is reason to be optimistic about this match. It’s a home match so make sure to be there and cheer loud for the boys in purple!

Parting Thoughts

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